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The Kreutzer Sonata and Other Short Stories (Dover Thrift Editions) Paperback – October 13, 1993


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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Thrift Editions
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; New edition edition (October 13, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486278050
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486278056
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #133,001 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Russian

About the Author

<DIV>Count Leo Tolstoy was born on September 9, 1828, in Yasnaya Polyana, Russia. Orphaned at nine, he was brought up by an elderly aunt and educated by French tutors until he matriculated at Kazan University in 1844. In 1847, he gave up his studies and, after several aimless years, volunteered for military duty in the army, serving as a junior officer in the Crimean War before retiring in 1857. In 1862, Tolstoy married Sophie Behrs, a marriage that was to become, for him, bitterly unhappy. His diary, started in 1847, was used for self-study and self-criticism; it served as the source from which he drew much of the material that appeared not only in his great novels War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877), but also in his shorter works. Seeking religious justification for his life, Tolstoy evolved a new Christianity based upon his own interpretation of the Gospels. Yasnaya Polyana became a mecca for his many converts At the age of eighty-two, while away from home, the writer suffered a break down in his health in Astapovo, Riazan, and he died there on November 20, 1910.

David McDuff was educated at the University of Edinburgh and has translated a number of works for Penguin Classics, including Dostoyevsky s The Brothers Karamazov.


David McDuff was educated at the University of Edinburgh and has translated a number of works for Penguin Classics, including Dostoyevsky s The Brothers Karamazov.


Paul Foote was, until his retirement, a university lecturer in Russian and fellow of The Queen’s College, Oxford.


Paul Foote was, until his retirement, a university lecturer in Russian and fellow of The Queen’s College, Oxford.

</div> --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Tolstoy writes fantastic stories.
Kristy Hesketh
I highly recommend this book for serious readers and for those who wish to become acquainted with the writings of Tolstoy.
B. Babetch
It is, at the very least, important to read these stories.
frumiousb

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Jane Sibley on October 12, 1999
Format: Paperback
Just returned from Book Discussion Group. Found Dover translation to be far inferior to Penguin Classic.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By frumiousb VINE VOICE on October 7, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The highlight of this book for me had to be re-reading "The Death of Ivan Ilych" again after all these years. I read it for the first time years and years ago as required reading in middle school and this is the first time that I have come back to it since that time. I found myself unsurprisingly better equipped to read and appreciate this story now and was exceptionally pleased to have read it again.

This edition contains three short stories that were written after Tolstoy made his conversion to intense Christian beliefs. They are interesting to read together, particularly given the common theme about characters with mistaken ideas about what will bring them contentment.

"How Much Land Does a Man Need?" is a parable which examines greed and contentment through the story of a peasant who believes that he would be satisfied with his life if only he had a little bit more land.

"The Death of Ivan Ilych" tells the history of an outwardly prosperous but spiritually empty man who dies at the age of 45 after a fall in his home.

In "The Kreutzer Sonata" a man on a train relates to a fellow passenger what the circumstances were that led to the murder of his wife.

It is, at the very least, important to read these stories. The Kreutzer Sonata is particularly important in the history of literature. At its release, it was banned throughout much of Europe for indecency and has been inspiring debate about feminist issues and women characters in literature ever since that time.

The translation used in the Dover Thrift edition is competent, but has its awkward moments and is occasionally clunky and obtuse. I might personally recommend buying a different edition if you are planning a purchase.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 1, 1999
Format: Paperback
The Kreutzer Sonata is a story that should be required reading for all considering marriage. After hearing the various theories on love by his fellow passengers on a train, a man blurts out that he killed his wife because of jealousy and then relates the story of how he came to such an extreme action. His story will fill you with compassion and sadness at the state of the modern relationship between the sexes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By B. Babetch on February 28, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Kreutzer Sonata by Leo Tolstoy is a masterpiece. The book is short and is composed of three short stories. They are all sad, but unforgetable. I highly recommend this book for serious readers and for those who wish to become acquainted with the writings of Tolstoy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jamie Elliott on June 29, 2008
Format: Paperback
Tolstoy's ability to capture the humanity of his characters is displayed in this collection of novellas as it is in all of his work. Tolstoy's characters practically are human, tortured with guilt and doubt, selfish, full alternatively of naïve delight and jaded disgust, aspiring to be something more. This feeling of reality is prominent in three of the novellas: Family Happiness, The Cossacks, and Hadji Murat. The Kreutzer Sonata, on the other hand, is full of Tolstoy's religious convictions and is basically a warning against the dangers of carnal love, even between a man and his wife. I have always loved Tolstoy's novels, and it is always a little jarring for me to run into the deep Christianity that characterizes some of his work. Although I am not a Christian myself, I can appreciate that Tolstoy's religious feeling is very pure and very biblically based, a completely different being from the ritual based displays of the church. This set of novellas is interesting then, it that it shows that Tolstoy was just as complicated and contradictory as his characters so often are.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
and should be required for married couples to read together. It should make for some fascinating conversation.
Tolstoy adopts a scorched-earth policy in this novel which deflates the "sanctity" of marriage. The protagonist is a man on the edge, and it seems Tolstoy was there with him in the writing of this incandescent novella.
Chris McCandless, the ill-fated Alaskan voyager who died in a hunting shelter while trying to escape the ties of civilization, was reading this novel very close to his death. See the nonfiction "Into the Wild" for information on this...
I'm sure most of you have read the other two selections in this anthology, so I'll limit my comments to Kreutzer. This novel made my pulse race, a physical reaction I haven't had to a novel in quite a long time.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By juribe00@counsel.com on February 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
It is difficult to relate to the main character, not just for what he did, but because his reasons are no longer applicable in the way people live today and engage into relationships. Nevertheless, its insight about how a marriage could very easily become a living hell while both parties pretend that nothing is going on, may very well be reflected in today's average person experience.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ralph J. Wedgwood on October 4, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This Dover Edition has an incomplete translation of Tolstoy's Short Story. It should not have been issued as such and it should have been identified as incomplete. The missing bits change the meaning. There are much better complete translations.
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